A woman has won a reprieve for her favourite walnut tree, which was due to be felled in Havelock North.

Rachel Coxhead chained herself to the tree before sunrise yesterday to protest Hawke's Bay Regional Council's plans to fell 38 trees near the Mary Doyle retirement complex.

The 52-year-old contends the tree produces the best walnuts around, which she's been collecting for 30 years.

Following the protest, the council relented and said the tree could stay.


The other 37 trees - 21 poplar and 16 walnut - will be felled as council said they were a safety hazard for nearby landowners and members of the public.

Ms Coxhead - armed with an apple, a sign and a bag of walnuts yesterday - chose to save the tree that produced the "best walnuts."

"I have been coming here and collecting walnuts for 30 years," she said.

"When my kids were young we didn't have a lot of money so these trees were a great food source."

She told the workers that if they wanted to cut down that tree they would have to go through her.

Council intends to plant native trees in place of the felled trees at the site adjacent to the Karamu Stream.

-Additional reporting from Hawke's Bay Today